Homes for grannies

I hope you all had a good long weekend. While the country was celebrating the jubilee of its favourite granny, the government made an announcement about a type of accommodation that the Queen is never going to need – the granny flat. It said it would introduce a council tax break for anybody converting a garage or other unused accommodation into a granny flat.

This caused some confusion, as apparently they are already tax exempt. So the government back-pedalled and said it didn’t just mean grannies (or grandpas) but any member of the family – including presumably adult children who have become part of the ‘boomerang’ generation, leaving home for university and then coming back again.

It seems that the government is changing its mind all the time about taxes and fiscal incentives, pace the pasty tax and tax exemptions for charitable donations, but this time it does seem to be doing something rather clever. It is breaking up our terribly rigid ideas of where we should live, that anybody with any aspiration to success should be a homeowner and, failing that, can make do with renting a self-contained flat. Some small places, almost but not quite independent of their owners, could suit all sorts of people at all sorts of stages in their lives, and perhaps ease our chronic housing situation and even, whisper it, pull inflated house prices down a bit. Just don’t expect the queen to move in.





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